Film review: 'We Are Many'

Posted at 7:32 PM, Sep 27, 2020

A powerful movie about peaceful protests is now being streamed across the U.S., and the Salt Lake Film Society is part of the effort.

Steve Oldfield talked with Amir Amirani, the director of "We Are Many," who dedicated nearly a decade of his life to the project.

The film is the never-before-told story of the largest protest in history.

Back in 2003, up to 30 million people in nearly 800 cities around the world came together on one day to protest the impending war in Iraq — and it all came together before viral videos.

"In 2003, there was no social media. So when that protest was organized, it was through email and word of mouth," Amirani said.

Amirani was one of the protesters in Berlin that fateful day. He produced and directed the film that features more than 50 interviews and video from around the world — a mammoth effort that took him nine years to complete.

It was Amirani's first protest, and it inspired him to make a difference — and he wasn't the only one whose life was changed by it.

"One of the three founders of the Black Lives Matter movement and slogan is a woman called Patrice Cullors. In 2014, she was interviewed and was asked: 'What movement or event in your life has inspired what you're doing today?' and she said 'The anti-war movement of 2003,'" Amirani said. "She said it was her first protest and they were out on the street the whole time."

Amirani says that despite more violent protests this summer, he's still hopeful the message of 2003 can survive in 2020:

"The size of that protest — that makes me optimistic that the future is bright even if we go through some dark times," he said.

"We Are Many" is a great documentary that's relevant, important and inspiring.